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Newly certified professional environmental educators recognized at state Capitol includes NKyians

Twenty environmental educators from across the Commonwealth graduated from the Kentucky Environmental Education Council’s (KEEC) Professional Environmental Educator Certification (PEEC) program at a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.

KEEC, an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, is one of only three national certification programs accredited by the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Jane Eller, former executive director of the KEEC and founder of the Professional Environmental Educator Certification course, delivered the keynote address.

Newly certified professional environmental educators. (Photo provided)

The newly certified professional environmental educators completed the state’s rigorous PEEC course that was conducted from October 2018 – May 2019. The following 20 people were recognized as Certified Professional Environmental Educators:

Michelle Berendsen, Madison County

Judy Brookhiser, Calloway County

Ashley Brown, Franklin County

Elizabeth Chunglo, Boyle County

Jeri Howell, Franklin County

Rachel Hungler, Kenton County

Erin James, Jefferson County

Rae McEntyre, Gallatin County

Jaime Moore, Clark County

Hannah Nickell, Livingston County

Cassandra Odom, Fayette County

Tammy Reed, Nelson County

Delaney Rockrohr-Eaton, Warren County

Erin Sliney, Clark County

Sarah Steele, Kenton County

Zachary Walter, Boyd County

Kelly Watson, Fayette County

Mahala Watts, Madison County

Amanda Wheeler, Lincoln County

Robyn Whitted, Fayette County

The PEEC course, now with 233 graduates since the program was launched in 2004, is based on national guidelines designed to professionalize the field of environmental education by standardizing best practices. This year’s course includes, for the first time, members of the new Environmental Education Leadership Corps, an AmeriCorps program conducted by KEEC.

“We are excited and proud to have the addition of the inaugural members of the Environmental Education Leadership Corps in our class today and we hope that they have found this course to be a positive experience that will help them in their future employment,” said Billy Bennett, executive director of the KEEC.

Certified Professional Environmental Educators are required to complete annual continuing education to renew their certification. Those who renewed for at least six years receive the Master Environmental Educator designation. The list of all Certified Professional Environmental Educators is on the KEEC website.

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